Curtiss Reims Racer

In August 1909 most of the adventurous pioneers then flying aeroplanes gathered at Reims in  France for the world’s first air show. The sole American present was Glenn Curtiss. His Reims Racer, the second aeroplane he had built  was a small,  light pusher biplane built for speed.
Its pilot sat over the leading edge of the lower wing, using a wheellopped stick-control to operate the rudder and elevator, which was at the forward end of t he machine.  He used a shoulder yoke to work the ailerons fitted between the upper and lower wingtips.
Pitted in the Reims speed contests against the much-facied Blériot and Antoniette monoplanes, Curtiss performed outstandingly. On 28 August his mount proved fastest over the 20km distance, reaching 47mph to win the Gordon Bennett Cup. The following day he took the 10,000 – franc speed prize, averaging
46 1/2mph over 30km. The Curtiss pusher was triumphantly established as a premier aireraft type.

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